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   Re: [xml-dev] Xml is _not_ self describing

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At 11:24 PM +0100 1/15/02, Nicolas Lehuen wrote:

>However, I don't think it is sensible to tell that an XML file with unknown
>or foreign tag names is more interesting than a CSV file without headers.
>You get more information, because provided that you notice the pointy
>bracket and find out that some series of characters surrounded by <> or </>
>match, you can build a hierarchical model. But more information does not
>means more meaning. There is no magic thing in XML that will give you the
>*meaning* of the hierarchical relation, or of the data embedded inside the
>tags, contrary to what the public can believe when hearing the term
>"self-describing". That was the point of this "Xml is _not_ self-describing"
>thread : beware of the magic connotations of "self-describing".

Such a file with foreign-language markup is more interesting and more 
importantly more useful. If the meaning of the data itself is not 
readily apparent, then I have the additional opportunity to figure 
out what language is used for the tags and to translate that. This 
opportunity is not available to me with headerless CSV. The meaning 
is there. I just have to add more knowledge to my personal context 
before I'm prepared to take advantage of it.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          The XML Bible, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds, 2001)           |
|              http://www.ibiblio.org/xml/books/bible2/              |
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